The Economics Of America’s Domestic Surveillance

July 12, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

As it turns out the American government is spending millions of tax-payer dollars for the surveillance of Americans. Anne Flaherty looked at what it cost them:

  • Verizon charges $775 for each wiretap, and $500 a month thereafter to maintain the wiretap.
  • Emails are usually handed over by service providers for $25.
  • Google and Skype allow law enforcement agencies to have real-time access to communications. The fees for this are unknown.
  • Overall AT&T and Verizon make about $5 million a year from servicing government spying requests.
  • But the payment to mobile operators are just a fraction of the cost of spying. While a Verizon wiretap might cost about $1,000, the total bill for a wiretap can come out to $50,000 to cover other operational costs.

Read more about the costs of the domestic surveillance programs, how mobile operators justify the costs, cases where the information is handed over for free, and more over here.

Source: USA Today